Before reviewing the following comments on the press conference this morning, you should examine the following documents: Download DaschleAbortionLETTERS.pdf (it's a PDF). The latter includes a 1978 letter to voters from Daschle saying that abortion "is an abhorrent practice" and a letter from Daschle's Catholic nun-teachers in grade school (who Daschle mentioned several times in recent weeks, in addition to his altar boy TV ad). It also includes a Daschle letter from his 1986 campaign saying "that I am unalterably opposed to abortion," which is accompanied by a letter from a minister who says that Daschle told him abortion was "murder." But now things are different. The speakers from the Ave Maria List note that Daschle promotes NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) through fundraising letters (even though Daschle's letter asked for money from NARAL 6 times, he recently told the Rapid City Journal that it wasn't a fundraising letter--you figure that one out). The speakers also noted Daschle's statements to the California Democratic Party in 2000: "We will not surrender sacred ground, and that includes a woman's constitutional right to choose." The speakers also played a damning clip of Daschle speaking to the "Emily's List" convention with a big "Emily's List" sign in front of him. Apparently, Daschle won't release the whole video, so the speakers called on him to do so. Daschle has given $10,000 to Emily's List in recent years. A few women also spoke to the audience and made some very powerful statements. The first, Sharon Gray, is a local professor who supported Daschle in his last competitive race in 1986 which she says she's now "ashamed to admit." She said in 1986 she tried to convince other pro-life voters to vote for Daschle. She thinks Daschle is engaged in an "effort to cloak and misrepresent" the abortion issue. Another woman Jeannie Faber, who is of Santee/Oglala Sioux ancestry, also said that Daschle is wrong on abortion and that the "largest population of abortions in South Dakota is Native American." "Tom Daschle has used Native American issues for too long for his own political gain," she said. The final moments of the press conference focused on the issue of whether Daschle is being honest with the voters on the issue given his NARAL fundraising, Emily's List speaking/fundraising, his statements about promoting the right to choose etc. It's obvious to all who are willing to admit it, that he's not. The irony is that Daschle is now running a TV ad bashing Thune and calling him dishonest on the abortion issue and claiming that he's voted for a partial birth abortion ban. One speaker noted that Daschle only voted for the ban after his attempts to kill the legislation failed. For a lot more on all this, see the new website entitled Daschle Documents. Here's a picture from the meeting. Sharon Gray is at the podium, Jeannie Faber is to the left, and the Executive Director of Ave Maria is in the center.